Author Topic: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed  (Read 780 times)

Offline PAFlinter

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.50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« on: December 24, 2021, 05:12:25 AM »
Been trying to figure out a pistol.  Shooting at 25 yards off a bag it will shoot hole for hole with 15 gr of FFF .490 prb and ticking/spit.  Loads pretty nice and not too tight, loadable by hand, no pressure on butt/wrist of pistol.   Is 15gr enough???  I will need to add silver to my front site because it prints 6" high.   Rear site is as low as I'd like to take it.  Haven't shot it past 30gr FFF.

Subject pistol is square groove 13" swamped barrel..50 cal.

Thanks for any input.

Online Dphariss

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2021, 05:36:56 AM »
Hunting load for a 50 is 45 gr +- of FFF.  This will give adequate penetration to 30-40 yards to kill deer with lung shots.
Targets don’t need much killing but barrel time is longer.

Dan
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Offline PAFlinter

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2021, 06:01:51 AM »
Sounds good, ill start going up from 45gr and try that.

Online Dphariss

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2021, 06:42:27 AM »
I once (and only once) shot a percussion 58 cal “overcoat” pistol with 15 gr or so of powder. Shot it at block of pine firewood. Ball bounce back and whacked me on the shin bone. I used more powder the next time.
Since I tend to use my guns for things other than targets at times I see no point in squib loads. AND more powder should bring the point of impact down.  But this is a try it and see thing.

Dan
Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant”. James Madison

Offline Steeltrap

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2021, 03:31:06 PM »
I "ran" my three flintlocks across a chronograph.

50 caliber GM long rifle barrel:

100gr. FF PRB gives the 180gr. RB a velocity of 2,130fps

100gr. FF Hornady Pa Conical gives the 240gr. Conical a velocity of 1,950fps

54 caliber GM long rifle barrel:

110gr. FF PRB gives the 224gr. RB a velocity of 1,709fps

50 caliber Dehass 12" pistol barre (The data you're looking for....maybe?)l:

50gr. FFF PRB gives the 240gr. Conical a velocity of 939fps

I did not shoot a PRB from my pistol as I was looking for a quality group using the conical and IMHO the 240gr Conical gives more "smack" power than a PRB. But that's just me.

Anyway, I hope this helps.

Offline Fyrstyk

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2021, 04:33:38 PM »
My .50 caliber Traditions Trapper shoots well with 30 grains of 3f and a PRB out to 35 yards.  2" groups are pretty regular.

Offline PAFlinter

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2021, 05:42:25 PM »
Well, looks like more powder is in order.  It obviously shoots nice with the reduced charge.  I'll try and shoot it this weekend and update.  Just seems like too much powder for a short barrel but we'll have a go of it

Online Dphariss

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2021, 05:49:42 PM »
I "ran" my three flintlocks across a chronograph.

50 caliber GM long rifle barrel:

100gr. FF PRB gives the 180gr. RB a velocity of 2,130fps

100gr. FF Hornady Pa Conical gives the 240gr. Conical a velocity of 1,950fps

54 caliber GM long rifle barrel:

110gr. FF PRB gives the 224gr. RB a velocity of 1,709fps

50 caliber Dehass 12" pistol barre (The data you're looking for....maybe?)l:

50gr. FFF PRB gives the 240gr. Conical a velocity of 939fps

I did not shoot a PRB from my pistol as I was looking for a quality group using the conical and IMHO the 240gr Conical gives more "smack" power than a PRB. But that's just me.

Anyway, I hope this helps.
This pistol 6” FL 50 cal, 66 twist  with 45 gr of FFF goex gave 800 at the muzzle. At this velocity it would penetrate a cow elks skull from forehead to spinal column according to the friend I traded it too. It was one of those do or die moments and the elk was “displeased”.
It also provided supper this night some years ago. Back when I was running around in the back country packing horses and such.
And the conical has its own set of issues that of course the gun writers and such don’t talk about much. But have been known since the  Minnie ball came into use as a military projectile and was used in combat. One might ask why it never caught on with civilians. And if one insists on using these things they might invest is a barrel with a suitable twist. And one might look at the historical aspect and the writings of people such as Sir Samuel Baker and James Forsyth and even WW Greener on the topic of conicals for hunting in ML arms. If you MUST have more killing power a larger diameter RB one of equal weight to the conical, was proven by the 1850s to be a better, more effective hunting projectile in ML arms. Then of course there is the pressure concerns, for example, shooting equal charges of powder with the conical it will produce a lot of nipple erosion and after about 20 rounds of this the percussion rifle I used in testing would then blow the hammer back even with RB loads. Yeah I did testing back in the 1970s. Since that little pistol in the photo would shoot through a grown Antelope’s chest from side to side and throw up a cloud of  dirt in the sagebrush beyond and completely penetrate to the off side hide a Mule Deer bucks chest from shoulder to diaphragm I never saw the need for more. Since all the extra “energy” will be expended on the dirt beyond the animal. The conical as a hunting projectile in ML was tried and abandoned in the 1850s/60s but of course we must keep reinventing the wheel because people think the RB does not look like the bullet they use in their .270. I would have to dig for the article but as I recall the Maxi-Ball I tested gave about 30% more penetration than RB from the same rifle and the RB would pass through a deer at any range I was likely to shoot at (out to 200 yards or so) I saw no reason to put up with the pressure, recoil and outright danger in using the things.

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Offline Marcruger

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2021, 10:22:33 PM »
I would ask what the original poster is planning to do with his pistol?  BP pistols are pretty low powered for hunting.  I respect animals too much to use a BP pistol on them.  For targets, I'd go with whatever load is most accurate. 

Offline Steeltrap

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2021, 11:22:30 PM »
Welp, the "conicals" I use are the one's Hornady makes. These are labeled as "Pa. Conicals" as it had something to do with the Pennsylvania flintlock season and the definition of a legal projectile. That was many years ago, but apparently Hornady still sells 'em because they still make 'em. I love them for hunting as they are very accurate....as accurate as any PRB I've shot, and for a quick second shot load there is no patch to deal with. It's just powder, conical, and ram it down. And as the facts show, the conical outperforms the PRB at every distance. I've been using them for 15 years with no adverse consequences.

Interesting facts about ballistics and comparing the ballistics of a pistol vs a long rifle and shooting a PRB vs the Hornady Conical. (Again, I'm not speaking of a 500gr. conical here)

For My pistol 50 Cal. 240gr conical, 12" barrel, the down range MV and energies (ENG) with the MV of 939:  50yds 844\380, 100yds 765\312.

For My long gun 50 Cal. 240gr conical, 32" barrel, the down range MV and energies (ENG) with the MV of 1,950:  50yds 1,486\1,177, 100yds 1,133\684.

For My long gun 50 Cal. 180gr PRB, 32" barrel, the down range MV and energies (ENG) with the MV of 2,130:  50yds 1,633\1,066 ,100yds 1,225\600.

For My long gun 54 Cal. 224gr PRB, 36" barrel, the down range MV and energies (ENG) with the MV of 1,709:  50yds 1,324\895, 100yds 1,060\574.

Now another interesting fact is the velocity "loss" from the initial MV, to 50 yards. At first look it would appear the stated velocity loss of the pistol is wrong. But it's not. If you "run out" the ballistics on the long rifle and compare the velocity loss when the long rifle velocity slows to 950fps, then 50 yards later it loses about another 100fps. I'm sure that has something to do with the pistols initial velocity being less than the speed of sound.

Pistol velocity loss = 95fps
.54 Cal velocity loss = 385fps
.50 Cal conical velocity loss = 464fps
.50 Cal PRB velocity loss = 497fps

Note the .50 Cal conical always has more energy than the PRB even though the velocity is less. Yes, big 'n slow will outperform light 'n fast.
Note the 50 Cal Conical has in excess of 100ft\lbs of energy when compared to the .54 PRB at 100 yards.
Note the 50 Cal Pistol at 50yds (a personal maximum range) has a velocity of 844fps and energy of 380ft\lbs which with a well placed shot, would be sufficient to double lung a whitetail.

But....just some interesting facts to look at.

Offline Jeff Murray

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2021, 03:41:08 AM »
I use 25 grains of 3f in my 50 caliber flint pistol.  The recoil is mild and I use it primarily for fun shooting.  Personally would not hunt anything larger than rabbits with it.  My rifle is comparatively just too accurate to take a chance on the pistol.  It would be fine for a final shot on big game that was down. 

Offline PAFlinter

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2021, 04:54:30 AM »
I would ask what the original poster is planning to do with his pistol?  BP pistols are pretty low powered for hunting.  I respect animals too much to use a BP pistol on them.  For targets, I'd go with whatever load is most accurate.

Mostly target shooting.  I definitely wouldn't shoot an animal with a light load.  Was curious what I should be shooting at a "hunting" application,  so I got an idea now.

Offline Daryl

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2021, 10:14:28 PM »
A good point about pistols, is, if you are going to hunt with a muzzleloading pistol, make it with a rifle rate of twist.
Then, load to to get the best accuracy, which will, in a .50 to .55 calibre, run to about 50 to 60gr. 3G. My .54, with a 66" twist
likes 55gr. 3F.  That runs almost 1,200fps with a 220gr. ball. serious stuff. It also kicks like it means business. Doesn't hurt, just bucks.
An 18" to 22" ROT and it's usual 25gr. of powder is not a hunting pistol load for anything larger than bunnies.
Daryl

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Offline alacran

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2021, 02:22:24 PM »
I have a Sharon .50 cal pistol barrel. It is stamped 1/36. Think that rate of twist will be adequate for 50 grains of 3f. Hopefully I plan to make it into a pistol. The barrel is 15/16 atf. So, it will have enough weight to make it manageable. It is 10 inches long. One of the many projects I plan, if I live long enough.
A man's rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.  Frederick Douglass

Offline Daryl

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2021, 09:59:35 PM »
This is my .54 as well as with the .45 bl.






Daryl

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Online Dphariss

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2021, 02:42:02 AM »
A good point about pistols, is, if you are going to hunt with a muzzleloading pistol, make it with a rifle rate of twist.
Then, load to to get the best accuracy, which will, in a .50 to .55 calibre, run to about 50 to 60gr. 3G. My .54, with a 66" twist
likes 55gr. 3F.  That runs almost 1,200fps with a 220gr. ball. serious stuff. It also kicks like it means business. Doesn't hurt, just bucks.
An 18" to 22" ROT and it's usual 25gr. of powder is not a hunting pistol load for anything larger than bunnies.

I once had a 54 flint that would shoot 2- 2 1/2” groups at 25 with 60 gr. 66 twist Douglas.Head shot a grouse with it back when I was guiding hunters. Killed a deer with a percussion pistol, the  barrel that was a cut off from a 54 GM barrel. I liked 70 gr. 25 yards or so. Shattered the Humerus took out the arteries over the heart, lodged under the far side hide. When I say shattered it was broken into chunks well out close to the joints. Thompson and LaGarde talked of the massive bone damage from low velocity lead bullets and this also explains all the amputations during our Civil War and other conflicts using slow lead bullets. 
Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant”. James Madison

Online Dphariss

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2021, 04:49:00 AM »
Welp, the "conicals" I use are the one's Hornady makes. These are labeled as "Pa. Conicals" as it had something to do with the Pennsylvania flintlock season and the definition of a legal projectile. That was many years ago, but apparently Hornady still sells 'em because they still make 'em. I love them for hunting as they are very accurate....as accurate as any PRB I've shot, and for a quick second shot load there is no patch to deal with. It's just powder, conical, and ram it down. And as the facts show, the conical outperforms the PRB at every distance. I've been using them for 15 years with no adverse consequences.

Interesting facts about ballistics and comparing the ballistics of a pistol vs a long rifle and shooting a PRB vs the Hornady Conical. (Again, I'm not speaking of a 500gr. conical here)

For My pistol 50 Cal. 240gr conical, 12" barrel, the down range MV and energies (ENG) with the MV of 939:  50yds 844\380, 100yds 765\312.

For My long gun 50 Cal. 240gr conical, 32" barrel, the down range MV and energies (ENG) with the MV of 1,950:  50yds 1,486\1,177, 100yds 1,133\684.

For My long gun 50 Cal. 180gr PRB, 32" barrel, the down range MV and energies (ENG) with the MV of 2,130:  50yds 1,633\1,066 ,100yds 1,225\600.

For My long gun 54 Cal. 224gr PRB, 36" barrel, the down range MV and energies (ENG) with the MV of 1,709:  50yds 1,324\895, 100yds 1,060\574.

Now another interesting fact is the velocity "loss" from the initial MV, to 50 yards. At first look it would appear the stated velocity loss of the pistol is wrong. But it's not. If you "run out" the ballistics on the long rifle and compare the velocity loss when the long rifle velocity slows to 950fps, then 50 yards later it loses about another 100fps. I'm sure that has something to do with the pistols initial velocity being less than the speed of sound.

Pistol velocity loss = 95fps
.54 Cal velocity loss = 385fps
.50 Cal conical velocity loss = 464fps
.50 Cal PRB velocity loss = 497fps

Note the .50 Cal conical always has more energy than the PRB even though the velocity is less. Yes, big 'n slow will outperform light 'n fast.
Note the 50 Cal Conical has in excess of 100ft\lbs of energy when compared to the .54 PRB at 100 yards.
Note the 50 Cal Pistol at 50yds (a personal maximum range) has a velocity of 844fps and energy of 380ft\lbs which with a well placed shot, would be sufficient to double lung a whitetail.

But....just some interesting facts to look at.
Energy is just a number. It is not an indication of killing power. The is especially true with arms using BP as a propellant. My experiences guiding hunters in my younger  days. Shooting something around 100 head of various big game with with round balls from MLs and others with various brass suppository cartridges seeing more shot with modern magnums and various other cartridges most  deer, and other big are regardless of the supposed energy will run until the brain runs out of oxygen. Occasionally they will drop at  shot especially if some part of the central nervous system is interrupted or shocked. For a mule deer for example they generally run 40 to 50 yards after being shot sometimes more sometimes a little less.. it matters not if it’s a low velocity 45 caliber round ball a relatively high energy 662 round ball or a 7 mm magnum. It matters not if the Projectile penetrates completely or not.  Criteria in our world here is suitable diameter and adequate penetration.  Hunting Rifle should also have a reasonably flat trajectory over its intended range of use. In traditional muzzle loading arms nipple or vent erosion is often the result of high-pressure loads. This is why in the 19th century and to date that slug guns and other high-pressure muzzleloaders were often equipped with platinum lined nipples. Further when substandard steels are used in the barrels higher pressure can increase the probability of a failure.  It can cause or increase the probability of vent liners, nipples and or drums exiting the firearm. I have had both a nipple and a drum exit back when I was a teen. I am not alone in this and this was with RB loads.
And I have had a chronograph for  well over 40 years, the current one is a Doppler radar, so I know the this and thats of velocity etc. When guiding hunters it  behooves the guide to have some idea of trajectories of cartridges ones client might be using. So I have experience. I have shot or seen shot animals larger than a fox with round balls from various flint and percussion MLs in calibers to 72. Including a pistol or two. I killed my first deer with a ML in a few years 8 days ago since I finally got my shooting eye fixed so I can be comfortable hunting with iron sights again.  Now before this stupid thing loses the post, this it try 4, I am posting it. I can give details on shooting deer with various calibers if you like and even some pictures of the internals after field dressing. But I am tired of this.
Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant”. James Madison

Online bob in the woods

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2021, 05:13:25 AM »
Welp, the "conicals" I use are the one's Hornady makes. These are labeled as "Pa. Conicals" as it had something to do with the Pennsylvania flintlock season and the definition of a legal projectile. That was many years ago, but apparently Hornady still sells 'em because they still make 'em. I love them for hunting as they are very accurate....as accurate as any PRB I've shot, and for a quick second shot load there is no patch to deal with. It's just powder, conical, and ram it down. And as the facts show, the conical outperforms the PRB at every distance. I've been using them for 15 years with no adverse consequences.

Interesting facts about ballistics and comparing the ballistics of a pistol vs a long rifle and shooting a PRB vs the Hornady Conical. (Again, I'm not speaking of a 500gr. conical here)

For My pistol 50 Cal. 240gr conical, 12" barrel, the down range MV and energies (ENG) with the MV of 939:  50yds 844\380, 100yds 765\312.

For My long gun 50 Cal. 240gr conical, 32" barrel, the down range MV and energies (ENG) with the MV of 1,950:  50yds 1,486\1,177, 100yds 1,133\684.

For My long gun 50 Cal. 180gr PRB, 32" barrel, the down range MV and energies (ENG) with the MV of 2,130:  50yds 1,633\1,066 ,100yds 1,225\600.

For My long gun 54 Cal. 224gr PRB, 36" barrel, the down range MV and energies (ENG) with the MV of 1,709:  50yds 1,324\895, 100yds 1,060\574.

Now another interesting fact is the velocity "loss" from the initial MV, to 50 yards. At first look it would appear the stated velocity loss of the pistol is wrong. But it's not. If you "run out" the ballistics on the long rifle and compare the velocity loss when the long rifle velocity slows to 950fps, then 50 yards later it loses about another 100fps. I'm sure that has something to do with the pistols initial velocity being less than the speed of sound.

Pistol velocity loss = 95fps
.54 Cal velocity loss = 385fps
.50 Cal conical velocity loss = 464fps
.50 Cal PRB velocity loss = 497fps

Note the .50 Cal conical always has more energy than the PRB even though the velocity is less. Yes, big 'n slow will outperform light 'n fast.
Note the 50 Cal Conical has in excess of 100ft\lbs of energy when compared to the .54 PRB at 100 yards.
Note the 50 Cal Pistol at 50yds (a personal maximum range) has a velocity of 844fps and energy of 380ft\lbs which with a well placed shot, would be sufficient to double lung a whitetail.

But....just some interesting facts to look at.

The only "facts" I consider are the ones I have gathered from my hunting experience . IMO the round ball out performs the conicals in actual performance ie dead critters.  Paper facts are what I leave to the gun writers and companies who want to sell us stuff.  I have taken over 20 bears with round balls and never once had an issue.  Can't say the same for my conical experience

Offline Steeltrap

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2021, 08:46:13 PM »
Ok, I'm all done here.

I have to run anyway as the dead deer in my freezer shot with a Hornady Pa Conical (Many types\brands\weights of Conicals....but I only shoot one) has now come back to life and I gotta take care of this.

As someone else stated, dead is the result of cutting the CNS of the animal or cutting the ability of the circulatory system to deliver blood.

I've killed every deer I've shot with a Hornady Conical. Your experience may differ. Your type and weight of Conical may differ. I don't know. Nor is my "care" meter moving.

An accurate chunk of lead placed in the proper spot of any animal will do the job.

All done now.  8)

Offline Jeff64

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Re: .50 cal Pistol Load Needed
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2021, 06:45:50 PM »
Recently completed a .50 pistol with a 13" Chambers barrel.  Took it to the range so I could find a plinking/target load and a hunting load.  I shot .480 ball  with ticking, thick, probably .018, but I didn't measure.  Here's what I got:

30g 3F   Avg-685fps
40g 3F   Avg-890fps
50g 3F   Avg-1020fps

Accuracy was good, but didn't measure any groups.  Could have easily went to 60g as 50g was still had fairly mild recoil.  Also could drop the plinking load to 25g to save a bit of powder, paper drops pretty easy. This gun was for a friend so I left the rest for him to fine tune.  Hope this helps.